There is a buzz around Cleantech Invest, a First North Helsinki -listed company that grows scalable cleantech companies.
Its portfolio companies are growing rapidly, and new strategic investors from China, Silicon Valley and Sweden joined in August. The company is preparing to list on the Stockholm stock exchange possibly by the end of this year.
By listing on two stock exchanges at once the company strives to expand its ownership base and accelerate the share price. Before Chinese, American and Swedish investors joined in with a six percent buy, less than 0,5 percent of the ownership was foreign.
The new foreign investment amounts to around 500 000 euros in equity. The largest investor of this stock emission was Zhejiang Ruiyang Technology Company, a leading industrial actor and investor in the Chinese cleantech sector.
The First North stock exchange is experiencing a boom in listings and the competition is fierce. Getting the attention of Swedish investors will not be easy.
“Among our 15 portfolio companies one can find some of the fastest growing companies in Europe, but many investors are not fully aware of them yet. Their potential is still Nordics greatest secret,” says CEO Alexander Lidgren.
Success still depends on future financing rounds for many of the companies, and acquiring growth capital for its portfolio is in fact one of Cleantech Invest’s greatest challenges.
Cleantech Invest made a loss last year with a turnover of 89 000 euros. The first six months of the current year saw 144 000 euros in turnover with 365 000 euros in loss. Assets in cash are over a million euros.
Among Cleantech Invest’s portfolio companies, solar thermal collector manufacturer Savo-Solar recently locked in a successful sale in Denmark. It will work as a reference for the European markets.
The turnover of online consignment store Swap.com was 450 000 euros in August, and the company has grown an average of 17 percent per month over the past two years.
Lidgren estimates that Swap.com will begin to make profit in the coming year. The company is looking to list on the stock market in the United States.
During the summer Cleantech Invest increased its ownership in Enersize, a company focused on industrial compressed air systems. It recently completed its first shipments in China, resulting in 800 000 euros worth of yearly savings for the customer.
Enersize’s revenue model is based on the customer’s savings, out of which it takes a share. If no savings are made, the customer pays nothing.
Nocart has been in the news lately, and more is to be heard of the company soon. According to chairman of board Lassi Noponen the company has the potential to develop into a growth story that has a great impact on Finnish clean energy exports. This is because the company combines the products of multiple Finnish companies in its shipments.
Nocart was profitable already last year, and the value of this year’s shipments will amount to at least four million euros. Next year this number is estimated to be at least 20 million.
A new addition in the portfolio is Eagle Filters, which makes filters for gas turbine air intake systems. Another newcomer is PlugSurfing, offering an application of maps on where one can charge their electric vehicles.
Cleantech Invest would benefit from a few exits with which it would be able to pay off sizable dividends. For example Swap and Nocart are potential exit-companies.
Even though the first exit may not be far off, it will most probably not be this year but a successful exit may bring Cleantech Invest more money than the current combined value of its stock.
The company’s expectations are high, and time will show whether they will be realized as cash flow. Only one question remains - why haven’t foreign investors invested much more into the company at current prices if the portfolio is indeed full of diamonds?
Malminrinne 1 b, 00180
Joshua B. Kirkman